Photo shows a destroyer firing at target. The South China Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army(PLA) Navy conducts a live-fire military drill. (Source: 81.cn)
The amount of defense facilities on islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands totally depends on the level of threat China faces, and China will not seek militarization in the region, said China's Navy chief to his U.S. counterpart on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, China landed three commercial airliners on its newly constructed airfield on the Yongshu Reef in the South China Sea in order to test whether airport facilities are suitable for civil aviation, according to Wu Shengli, head of the China's People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
The building of necessary defense facilities on islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands is not militarization. This has been maliciously hyped up by certain countries and media, Wu said during the teleconference with U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson.
China's PLA Navy is determined and capable to defend sovereignty and security of islands and reefs in the South China Sea, Wu added.
During the teleconference, Wu and Richardson highlighted progress in the relationship between the U.S. Navy and PLA Navy, noting successful exchanges and visits during 2015. Both of them hope to promote bilateral naval relationship in 2016 based on these progresses.
Richardson mentioned that the U.S. will continue to conduct free navigation and aviation in and over the South China Sea and other parts of the world, conforming to international laws.